sleazy linking practices

general — avner ronen on August 21, 2007 @ 4:48 am

i came across this post by jeremy wagstaff. it talks about the practice of bloggers/publishers to link to internal pages of their own site, when they should have been linking to an external source.

An example: TechCrunch reviews Helium, a directory of user-generated articles. But click on the word Helium, and it doesn’t take you, as you might reasonably expect, to the website Helium, but to a TechCrunch page about Helium. If you want to actually find a link to the Helium page, you need to go there first.

sleazy indeed. and it is especially annoying when it is coming from bloggers whom you (or at least i) expect a higher etiquette/moral standard than traditional media.

as jeremy writes its not only sleazy, but also annoying since you’d expect that pressing the link will send you the site mentioned rather than to yet another internal page.

this goes back to something jeff jarvis often writes about (and recently debated with fred wilson), which is the issue of values, ethics and some kind of code of conduct for individuals publishing news and commentary content online.

good coffee, bad Wifi

general — avner ronen on August 21, 2007 @ 1:05 am

started the morning in a coffee shop in Herzliya. one of the best things about Israel is that it has caught up with places like Italy, France and Spain in terms of espresso. you can get great coffee in most places in Israel. in contrast to the US where even in the best of places you’ll get Starbucks quality coffee (i.e. terrible coffee).

the pastry is also good. so it’s a great place to get some work done before a meeting, but the main problem is the Wifi connection. it is so sssssslow that it’s painful. reminiscent of the dark ages of dial-up. can barely get my emails to download.

also the see of IBM/Lenovo laptops around me is depressing.. a sea of ugly black machines

(this post was only sent on the 4th attempt)

a sentimental post

general — avner ronen on August 20, 2007 @ 6:41 am

after 2 weeks in israel working with the team i must say that being separated (NYC & Tel-Aviv) in such an early stage of a start-up is far from ideal :(

and it’s not the time-zone and harder coordination that is the issue. it’s missing on the magic of the early days, the excitement, joy, anticipation, jokes, comradeship that you can not really get when you have an ocean in the middle.

not much we can do about it. just need to increase the travel budget and see more of each other.

screening calls

general — avner ronen on August 15, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

once i was a corporate lackey.
didn’t pay much attention to how much it costs the company to support my work life style.
now that i am in start-up mode and treating every dollar as coming out of my own pocket (actually some of it does..), i take a very different approach.

i took the cheapest AT&T international roaming plan.
it costs me $1.99 a minute to make or receive a call.
and i am scared to think about data roaming costs.

so i turned off my email syncing.. and i am screening calls.
i am here a week, but didn’t answer any call since i got here (quite an aggressive screening policy…)

wanted: a code poet

general — avner ronen on August 8, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

we are trying to recruit a developer in Israel.

i asked Vulkan if he can give me a short job description, so that i can ask people if they know someone. so being the methodical, process oriented, bureaucratic animal that he is he told me "you know. someone that can really code. a shark."

so here is what we’re looking for:

someone that can really code.
a shark.
a code poet.
a lazy bastard.
a hacker.

someone that can write PHP with two hands tied behind his back,
but dreams in C++.

favorite beach book reading: design patterns (hard cover edition, signed by the authors)
favorite debate topic: LAMP vs. J2EE (prefers LAMP, but can argue both sides of the issue)
favorite animal: penguin.
hobbies: none.

(social skills are not a requirement)

if you think you fit the bill please send us an email (don’t forget to mention your favorite compilation flags for the Linux kernel).

pitch it to a 3yr old

general — avner ronen on August 7, 2007 @ 8:39 am

since we came with the idea for boxee we have been gradually improving (and simplifying) the way we explain what boxee does. at the beginning it took us a few good minutes, and many people still didn’t get it.

yesterday i went to FedEx to pick up a package for boxee and my 3yr old son joined me. on the way he asked me "what is boxee?", so i told it what we do in one sentence and he actually got it! i was very happy. it’s funny that there are still some grown-ups that have a hard time understanding what we do or why we do it.. yet my 3yr old totally gets it.

honeymoon period with iPhone is officially over

general — avner ronen on August 2, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

i recently celebrated a month with my iPhone. and after the initial infatuation has expired, and i treat it more as a tool (rather then just taking it out the pocket and admiring it)

when Steve Jobs launched it he said it is the best iPod they ever made, mobile Internet device and a phone. it delivers amazingly well on being the best iPod ever, and the best way to surf the web. the problem is that it sucks as a phone and sucks even worst as an email device.

i don’t know whether it is Apple’s or AT&T’s fault but the combination of a lousy EDGE network, and the iPhone email app make it an unreliable email device.

and the amount of dropped calls is staggering. here i think it is Apple’s fault. when i am calling Gidon who is also on an iPhone we are lucky if we can get through to each other, and it is almost impossible to have a call without disconnecting at least once.

i have heard similar complaints from other iPhone owners. hope Apple can fix it with a software update. otherwise i’ll have to go back to blackberry. maybe it’s a good idea to short that stock.

oh, forgot to mention. battery life is great in case you don’t use it. if you are the type of person that uses the phone to make calls and stuff like that, better pack a charger and never be too far from an electricity source.

i think Apple is much better in building hype than building products.

trip soundtrack

general — avner ronen on August 2, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

every time i go on a trip there is music that goes with it. i usually download new stuff and listen to it as i drive, sit in the now permanent middle seat and ignoring my neighbors, working on the laptop at the coffee shop trying to override the bad music in the background, etc.

so every trip kind of has its own soundtrack. this time it was The Raconteurs. Jack White from the White Stripes and a couple of guys from the Greenhorns that i don’t remember their name. amazing stuff. this is the best album i have listened to in a long time. the tracks i love the best are Steady As She Goes, Together, Yellow Sun and Blue Veins.

i heard about The Raconteurs from AOL’s The Interface podcast. it is a great way to discover new music, and the best thing that came out of AOL in years.

i also listen to podcasts (basically catching up with WNYC Brian Lehrer and Leonard Lopate), but sometimes my head is too overwhelmed digesting stuff, and even if i try to listen to them talk i can’t. so i turn to music.

haircut trauma

general — avner ronen on August 1, 2007 @ 12:26 am

in san francisco for meetings and had a couple of hours between meetings today. i was in serious need for a haircut, so decided to go and get one.

i was on my way to Supercuts (thanks to google maps) when i came across a small barbershop. being a strong supporter of the "small guy" vs. a big chain i decided to step in. the barber was a bit old. he told me has opened the place 32 years ago, never had a partner and is still making a good living. good for him.

following that small chat came very scary 30 minutes of "haircut". the nice barber had Parkinson… which does not go well with scissors… i was pretty sure i am going to lose a part of my ear. he sometimes stopped to curse. sometimes needed to hold the scissors with 2 hands, trying to stabilize the scissors without much success..

i let out a big sigh of relief when he said he’s done. and when he suggested he need to fix something he missed (he said that in the last few days he keeps neglecting the left side of customers) i politely refused and said i really have to run. for the safety of the citizens of san francisco i truly hope he is going to retire.

needless to say the haircut is a disaster.. will need to fix it when i am back home. this is the worst haircut experience i ever had. even worst than the time when i was 15 or so, and agreed that Tom will give me a haircut. it ended with me chasing him with a chair..

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